Sunday, November 22, 2009

Custom Banner for AmyDesigns

I just did my first Custom made banner for AmyDesigns at ArtFire. This is a wonderful ArtFire shop that has many country inspired, shabby-chic themed handmade clothing, bags, home decor items and lots more.

I am really happy to be chosen to make this banner for Amy Desgins, and most importantly I am very happy that my customer is happy too!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why not 'Made In China'?

Yes, I would like to know why has the term 'Made in China' makes everyone in the handmade community disgusted? Most big brands already have their items made in China, so quality should not be the reason. Besides for anyone who thinks that all items made in China is bad quality, that person does have a discriminating view, in my opinion!

Do I buy made in China? Of course I do, only if I can't help it. China is the factory of the world these days and as more and more of the items in the shops are made there it is becoming difficult not to buy items that were made in China. But the keyword here is difficult and not impossible. One example was a few weeks ago when my partner and I went grocery shopping and were about to pick up garlic, when we found that we had 2 options - first was a prepacked kilo of garlic imported from China and the other was loose garlic from Spain. The later was 3 times more expansive! Since we were on a budget we chose the ones from China.

I like to keep it simple and stick to my 2 main buying principles of -

1) "Where or when ever I can, I will choose not made in China".

This is simply because our shops are now filled with a good 70%-80% China made goods, therefore there is no escaping it. It takes a conscious effort to seek out an alternative and by doing so, maybe only 10%-20% of our daily buying is not made in China. Give the other nations and your local manufacturers a chance!

2) "If I had the choice, I will choose locally made to imported"

It doesn't matter if it was imported from Beijing, Milan, Paris or London, an import is an import. I'm in Australia and even I am not Australian, I would buy Australian where ever I can. This is because as soon as you buy an imported item you have increased your carbon footprint. Think of all the emissions into the environment as that item makes its way from thousands of kilometers to get into your shopping basket. A local choice is a good one environmentally too.

Besides those reasons I also support small local businesses, including charity shops. I am not embarrased to say that I visit Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul Society) every time I like to buy some clothing. You would be surprised what you can find there! I will keep the details for another post.

All said and done, China made goods are not poor quality. They are not made by little slave hands or in an inhumane way. China is a growing nation and manufacturing for other nations is thier bread and butter or economy building block, that requires the same respect as you would like for your handmade craft.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Banners - Roast

I recently found wonderful resource of some amazing color schemers by Adobe called Kuler.

Here are some new banners I created for Etsy or ArtFire sizes. Free re-size to blog and if you need the color code to coordinate other elements of your blog, just ask! Also if you like the design in your business card, post card or other marketing material, as long as I am capable, nothing is impossible!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Easy Mushroom Aglio Olio Recipe

This is my favorite quick and easy dish. I love pasta and mushrooms and whip this up really quickly one day when all I had was pasta and mushrooms!

Here is what I did. I am not going to use any exact measurements as I don't think anyone does that when they are cooking. You can try this with my simple instructions or modify it to suit your taste.


One serve of Spaghetti
2 medium size cloves of garlic, chopped
2 table spoons of olive oil
handful of fresh white/button mushrooms, chopped or sliced
a sprinkle of chili flakes
salt and pepper to tast
grated Parmesan


First cook your spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Make sure it's al-dente or cooked to your liking.
Place a fry pan on medium heat and add about 3/4 of the olive oil in. Do not wait until the pan is too hot before adding the oil as it takes the flavor away. Add in the chop garlic and stir. After a few minutes add in the mushrooms. Stir until mushrooms are cooked. Sprinkle in the chilli flakes, salt and pepper to your liking and add the spaghetti.
Stir rapidly to get an even coating all over the spaghetti. Once it's done serve, pour the rest of the olive oil all over it and grate Parmesan over the dish.

  • Do not wash your mushrooms or it will soak up the water and expels it when cooking. Instead you should wipe it or peel it.
  • The dish might get a little dry as the mushrooms will absorb the oil in the pan. If this happens add in a table spoon of water right after adding the mushrooms.
  • Add your chili flake before you add the spaghetti if you like a little more heat. This will allow the heat of the chili to mix with the oil.
  • For a vegan dish, just leave out the cheese!
Too easy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You

Have you watch this movie yet? Well last weekend we borrowed a few DVDs and since I've heard my girl friend speak about this movie, decided to get it.

So there we were after dinner all curled up on the sofa and ready for a mindless romantic comedy. As usual I expected - boy meets girl, falls in love or the other way... blah, blah, blah, tears, tears, tears and they kiss and I get a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy, and 'The End'. But to my surprise, although it ended with me wiping my tears off with my sleeve, it wasn't such a typical romantic comedy.

It was a bizarre this person who knows that person, who is related to this person... etc. connection type of story where the cast were all these famous people. But there were lots of truth and real life that was portrayed in the story line. A little drama-fied, but I could swear some of those things that happened to cute needy girl character Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), where exactly those that happened to me while I was exploring the dating sphere.

And as I am growing up now and seeing my friends tie the knot one by one, while I sit in the crowd or join in as a bridesmaid, just wondering when and how will it ever be my turn, I can't help but to relate to Beth Murphy (Jennifer Aniston) the character who is in a 7 year long relationship that hasn't ripen into matrimony. And it is not that they are unsure about each other but that Neil (Ben Affleck) the boy friend just isn't ready and don't see the point of getting married.

I myself not too long ago left a really fabulous relationship that lasted almost a year for the sake of pursuing the regular path where two people fall in love, get married and have kids. For me having children has always been my dream and desire for as long as I know. And as much as I hope this is respected, I in the same way respected his want to travel without a family. It took me much thinking and courage to finally call it off simply because we had strong but conflicting needs. I wasn't going to make him do anything for my, unless that is what he wants too.

Love is really 'give and receive', I believe, and not 'give and take'. If you are taking what is not given to you, then you have taken what is not meant for you. If what you are receiving seems unbefitting with what you are giving and that does not make you happy, maybe it is time to work things out or walk right out.

This always gets my mind back to one question - Which is better, to love or to be loved?